LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Around the time Russell Hodge was filling a trunk-full of spare gas tanks, Mayor Joshua Mandell declared a state of emergency for Larchmont effective immediately, according to a notice from the Village Clerk's office Friday afternoon.
"This is a necessary step to enable me to take the proper steps to prepare for this hurricane," said Mandell, who will now be able to request assistance from state and federal authorities without any waiting, as well as make quick changes to laws when necessary.
Mandell has already put that power to use by suspending all parking regulations on village lots.
"We won't charge you, we won't check permits, it'll be a place that you can safely move you're car to if you're concerned about your car," he said.
While Mandell, along with everyone else, is waiting to see how severe the storm will be when it is slated to reach Larchmont Saturday night into Sunday, he is strongly suggesting residents in the low-lying and coastal areas prepare to evacuate by 5 p.m. Saturday.
Hodge, a Larchmont resident, doesn't plan on evacuating, even though his house has been prone to flooding in the past. After the severe flooding in 2007, he bought a generator to ensure his sub pump, which runs on electricty, would keep his basement dry during future storms.
On Friday, he filled up half a dozen gas tanks to ensure his generator gets him through the weekend without any flooding.
Hurricane Irene is expected to hit Westchester Saturday night into Sunday as a category-one hurricane, bringning sustained winds in excess of 55 miles per hour and six to 12 inches of rain.
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